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Photos: Nigerians Go All Out To Stand Up For LGBT Rights


Recently a bill was passed by the Nigerian Senate that would make it a punishable offense — of up to 14-years in prison — for anybody to go to a gay bar, to work for or be involved with LGBT organization, or to be in an openly gay relationship. In addition, anyone who  “witnesses,” “aids,” or “abets” same-sex marriage — defined as including ALL same-sex relationships — could be punished up to ten years in prison. The bill also carries similar sentences for the establishment of gay clubs, and for any activity seen as supporting gay rights.

On Monday Dec. 5th, activists rallied outside of the Nigerian Mission to the United Nations (pics below) to deliver a clear message to Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan: "We are not illegal." Nigerian activist Ifeanyi Orazulike wrote a letter to Jonathan and circulated it via AllOut.org urging him to veto the bill. The petition garnered over 58,000 signatures from around the world in just three days and activists hand-delivered the letter to consular officials on Monday.

On Tuesday, President Obama and the U.S. State Department announced that it will limit aid to countries that don't embrace gay rights (despite a bevy of unjust legislation in parts of the United States including limits on gay marriage and equal opportunity housing....erm...). This announcement comes on the heels of UK Prime Minister David Cameron making a similar statement - albeit in a pretty f'ing patronizing way. Critics of Cameron's initiative note that Cameron didn't consult with activists on the ground and that his statements/actions would actually endanger the lives of Africans. We don't disagree, but we also see how divestment has curbed human rights abuses in the past — economic sanctions against Apartheid in the 1980's/90's is a prime example.

To help support gay rights activists on the ground, and specifically in Nigeria, go to  All Out's website where you can tweet, Facebook and email about the Nigerian anti-gay law. And sign the petition.The goal is to keep the pressure on the President Goodluck Jonathan and get him to veto the bill.

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Kayode Kasum’s Quarantine Watchlist

From 'Wives on Strike' to 'Goodwill Hunting' here's what the Nigerian filmmaker is watching while stuck at home in Lagos.

Kayode Kasum, like most filmmakers, has been stagnated by the coronavirus pandemic. The director behind the blockbuster Sugar Rush and the critically acclaimed Oga Bolaji was working on the post-production of his upcoming movies, The Fate of Alakada: Party Planner and Kambili—a collaboration between FilmOne Entertainment and Chinese Huahua Media— when the Nigerian government announced the lockdown order.

While post-production on Alakada has concluded, the stay-at-home orders have delayed work on Kambili. "Since the team cannot meet at a single point, we are moving hard drives left and right," he says to me over the phone from his home in Lagos. "It is a challenge, but the beautiful thing about a challenge is, when you make it work, it is fulfilling."

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Kasum has turned to books and films for an escape from the unpleasant realities of the pandemic. "I have been reading Elnathan's books: Born on a Tuesday and Becoming Nigeria," he tells me. "I have also been reading film directing books, Directing Actors by Judith Weston." However, Kasum longs for the movies. "I miss going to the cinemas; I miss that experience," he says. "There are times during this pandemic that I'm like 'na wa o, I wish I can go to the cinema.'"

Below are five films he recommends you watch during this pandemic.

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